Deep in the heart of Central Texas, you’ll find a place where beautiful spring-fed rivers flow through town and water activities can be found at every turn. We’re talking about New Braunfels, Texas, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better summer vacation destination with so many places to splash, swim, tube, kayak and more. New Braunfels is a charming small town that’s home to more than 140 acres of water recreation, which means there’s something here for every member of the family. From a relaxing day on the river to a high-speed adventure at the water park, here are eight ways to beat the heat in this Texas Hill Country town.
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Float Down the River
There’s nothing more relaxing than a day on the river with a drink in your hand, and in New Braunfels that’s been a way of life for generations. Tubing is one of the town’s top attractions for both visitors and locals, and there’s a good reason why. Two pristine rivers — the Comal River and Guadalupe River — converge in New Braunfels, creating the perfect spot for tubing and rafting. These naturally flowing rivers are also spring-fed, so the water temperature is refreshing at 70-72 degrees year round. The Comal River is perfect for a relaxing, short trip as you’ll float from Landa Park through downtown New Braunfels. For a longer float with a touch of adventure, take your tube out on the Guadalupe River and experience a few fun-filled rapids. There are plenty of local outfitters to equip you with everything you need for a full day of fun in the sun, and when tubing in New Braunfels, be mindful of the river rules. While you can drink when floating down the river — whether it’s a cold beer or your favorite sports drink — all that is required is to drink responsibly and that you drink your beverages from a non-disposable container if you’re inside the city limits.
Wakeboard at Texas Ski Ranch
Water sports enthusiasts can get their fix at Texas Ski Ranch. This 70-acre facility is an action sports paradise, where riders can indulge in just about every board sport under the sun, including cable wakeboarding, wakeskating, kneeboarding and waterskiing. When it comes to wakeboarding, this facility has been ranked among the best in the world and features three cable systems and a boat lake. There’s a little something for every water enthusiast, no matter your skill level. First timers can take private lessons from one of the on-site coaches, who are also available for those who just want to improve their skills. You also can learn to ride an endless wave and wake surf behind the facility’s Malibu or Axis boats. If you’d rather sit back, relax and watch the action, grab a chair and catch some sun at TSR’s beach.
Ride the Rapids
Tubing is the most popular way to enjoy the waterways in New Braunfels, but it isn’t your only option for traveling the rivers. Those looking for a more challenging escapade can grab a paddle and ride the whitewater rapids of the beautiful Guadalupe River. You can rent kayaks and rafts from a number of local outfitters to explore the “Guad,” as locals call it. This river is the most popular spot for kayakers because of its faster flow and several drops, like Devil’s Playground Rapids and Huaco Falls. The Guadalupe is also much longer than the Comal River, so there’s plenty of adventure to have no matter where you begin — just don’t forget your GoPro. If you bring your own kayak, be sure to check on river flow conditions before heading out.
Splash Around at a Water Park
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels is the perfect day trip when you want some fun in the sun. This massive water park spans nearly 70 acres, with two separate parks that feature a total of 51 different attractions. You’ll find thrilling water slides, tube chutes, a wave pool, three uphill water coasters and other exciting ways to keep cool. The park was built along the banks of the Comal River and its slides, chutes and pools use spring-fed water that’s 72-degrees all year round. And between the two expansive water park experiences, there’s still plenty of places to relax. Families can enjoy floating down a lazy river or find a shady spot for a picnic, and there are several play areas for the youngsters to splash around in too.
An Epic Water Slide in the City
If you want adventure while tubing, be sure to check out City Tube Chute on the Comal River. This chute is an epic water slide carved into the New Braunfels city dam — yep, this town really is all about fun on the water. It sends riders around the dam on an exhilarating ride that splashes into a cool swimming hole at the bottom. The City Tube Chute facility offers tube and life jacket rentals, and be sure to follow the river rules to help preserve the beauty of this area, as well as other parts of the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers. Again, you’ll want the GoPro for this wild ride.
Visit the Water Recreational Capital of Texas
In Texas, there’s nothing better than a day on the lake, so head to the Hill Country Coast to visit Canyon Lake — known as the Water Recreational Capital of Texas. Just 14 miles outside of New Braunfels, Canyon Lake is not only one of the deepest lakes in The Lone Star State, but it’s also famous for its abundance of family adventure offerings like boating, fishing, waterskiing, parasailing and jet skiing — just to name a few. The lake has 80 miles of shoreline and is surrounded by gorgeous Hill Country scenery. There’s plenty of camping and RVing sites, as well as vacation rentals and charming bed and breakfasts. During your visit here, you’ll be able to take in the true beauty of the Texas Hill Country, with its rolling tree-covered hills and peaceful neighborhoods, while enjoying all the water activities you could dream of.
Set Up Camp on River Road
This Cypress-lined road winds alongside the Guadalupe River between Canyon Lake and New Braunfels, and is a great place to find more water sports and unique camping spots. The best way to experience this destination is to stay in one of the tipis, waterfront treehouses, cabins or cottages dotted along the road, or pitch your own tent at a riverside campsite. The luxury of staying here is that you wake up in the morning and enjoy the Guadalupe River right from your campsite or cabin. All along this winding road are tubing and rafting outfitters to help you find your next adventure, and there’s plenty of fun to be had on “the Guad.”
Paddleboats at Landa Park
Spend a serene day under ancient oak trees at the beautiful Landa Park. Home to Comal Springs, the largest springs in Texas, Landa Park is a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. Check out the boathouse where you can hop on a paddleboat to explore Comal Springs and Landa Lake, plus paddleboats are a great way to get in some exercise while enjoying an afternoon on the water. Ready to dive in? Lake Park also has an aquatic facility with a wonderful spring-fed pool, as well as an olympic pool and bath house. Don’t forget Fido on Doggie Dip Day — pups like to splash around and beat the heat, too! Pack a picnic and find a shady spot, because you can easily spend all day here.
From water slides and paddle boats to wakeboarding and tubing, New Braunfels is all about fun on the water. This Texas Hill Country destination is among the best places to beat the heat in spring and summer with friends and family, with boundless adventures on two beautiful rivers that have shaped this historic and charming Texas town. Ready to splash into New Braunfels? Plan your trip at http://www.playinnewbraunfels.com.